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Moving to be close to adult children and grandchild

(10 Posts)
Nanamar Tue 23-Mar-21 12:14:07

I am at a true crossroad in my life. I am 71 and have sadly just lost my beloved DH of 50 years after a lengthy illness. I have always hated where we live (mostly the climate) but he would never have dreamt of moving. DS, his ex, and DGS live in the same area only because of DH’s illness. We function quite well as a family unit despite DS’s and his ex’s (amicable) divorce. I know they’ll want to move and since DS is my only immediate family (parents deceased and I’m an only child) I want to go where they go. I realize I’d be giving up my life here in terms of proximity to life-long friends, DH’s family, etc. I tend to be quite content alone but am not anti-social. I have heard it’s a mistake to move to follow your children because they have their own lives to attend to and yet DGS is only 5 so I still provide childcare at times and DS and ex do things for me if needed. I am in excellent health and am a “young” 71. Obviously I am not doing anything anytime soon as we are just beginning to process our profound grief but since DH’s illness was so long and the outcome predictable we had all talked about plans for the future. Opinions and experiences welcome.

Chestnut Tue 23-Mar-21 12:24:31

You don't mention how far away they will be. If within an hour's drive then maybe stay put? Day visits will be easy. If further then I always believe you should stay near one of your children if possible, because it is hard when oldies are a long way from a child. Both can provide support for each other when you are close. You provide childcare and then later they provide living support. So I would stay close, but it's a risk if they move again. Could you afford to follow them again or not? Do you think this move is a permanent one, or are they likely to move again for their work? All that needs to be considered.

Peasblossom Tue 23-Mar-21 12:24:35

Would your son and his ex be moving to the same place? And you would move there too?

I suppose what I’m thinking is that they are both starting out on new lives. It’s very likely they will make new relationships and then perhaps move again. You could easily end up near your son but not your grandchild, vice versa or not near any of them.

I was glad to sell the house and move after my husband died, but I moved to somewhere that I liked and where I would be happy to live, whether relatives were close by or not.

I think you’re all in a state of flux at the moment. Although you don’t really like it, can you bear to stay put for a bit?

2020convert Tue 23-Mar-21 13:02:25

I think it’s something you really need to talk over with your son. You seem close and with your ex dil. I moved closer to my daughter and family and grandchildren in my late sixties but didn’t want to live in their pockets and made new friends and new hobbies. I also have a son and grandchildren in Australia.. It’s worked out fine and I don’t think they will move away. I always leave them alone at weekends to enjoy their family life (though admit that since Christmas they seem to be including me in weekend walks, meals etc which I tend not to turn down) good luck in whatever you decide.

Nanamar Tue 23-Mar-21 13:22:38

My son would never put distance between himself and his son so, yes, his ex and he would move to the same area. I am my grandson’s only grandparent now because my ex-DIL has no parents. I know they’ll probably develop other partnerships at some point. It’s funny because of course I am considering leaving friends since the move would most likely be a distant one - and yet two of the closest friends my DH and I had in our lives don’t live here any longer because they moved after retirement to warmer areas. So they’re not even physically here to be with me at this very difficult time and I just accept that.

Peasblossom Tue 23-Mar-21 14:04:49

I suppose I was thinking that if your ex DIL met someone from another area, she could well move to where he lives and works. Then your son might move to be close to his son and then you wouldn’t have any family near you.

People seem settled and then off they go!

Tangerine Tue 23-Mar-21 14:12:56

It is true that your son or exDIL could move again and I daresay you wouldn't want to keep following them around.

I think what you're proposing could well be a good idea for you but I think you need to make new friends in the new area because you will need companionship, apart from your family. They will have their own lives.

If you rely on them socially all the time, I foresee trouble ahead.

I wish you good luck with your new venture.

Redhead56 Tue 23-Mar-21 16:46:28

Two years ago we were thinking of buying a small house for weekends etc near our daughter. She lives in Lancashire about sixty five miles from us but we decided against it. I don't drive up there its on two motorways if anything happened to DH I would have to sell it. Thinking about it now I am glad we decided against it. My daughter and her family will probably move to a larger house if they have more children.

wildswan16 Tue 23-Mar-21 19:17:40

I think, if this was me, I would await whatever decision your son and ex come to regarding moving to somewhere else. At that point they may ask if you wish to come, or you could initiate the conversation "would it be at all useful if I was to come nearby as well?"

It should certainly be somewhere that you would feel settled and able to make a life for yourself, on your own, should circumstances mean they moved again in a few years.

sodapop Tue 23-Mar-21 20:43:07

Give yourself a little time Nanamar before making a decision. No reason why you should not move somewhere you would be happier, just don't base everything on your family. Look for somewhere where you will be able to take part in things and where shops, libraries etc are accessible. Sometimes it's good to make a fresh start, I wish you well whatever you decide.